China plans to lower its economic growth target to a range of 6 to 6.5% in 2019, a downwards shift from last year’s stated target of “around 6.5%”.
Beijing’s revision reflects higher American tariffs and weakening demand from domestic consumers.
The final growth target will be unveiled at the annual parliamentary session in March.
According to insiders, data to be released later this month is expected to show a growth of 6.6% in 2018 — the weakest the Chinese economy as seen since 1990.
Analysts have remarked that a growth of under 6% in 2019 would be worrying.
As the world’s second-largest economy shows signs of stalling, Chinese leaders are careful to hit sustained growth targets, moving China towards its goal of being a prosperous nation.
The US-China trade war has introduced a new element of uncertainty, and the range growth target will allow for flexibility for policy maneuvers.